Monday, January 10, 2011

Wood blocks on the way!

Puzzle Piece by Ruth Leaf in Baren Puzzle #1
I ordered the wood this past weekend. Suffering from the dreaded plague (some kind of evil influenza-thing that has invaded the sanctity of my sinuses) couldn't stop me from clicking Buy It Now! on six beautiful pieces of 3/4" (about 3 cm) thick 7-layer cherry plywood.

Since I now have a bigger press and I have also been invited to print elsewhere, I thought about going with larger blocks but decided against it. In case anyone is thinking about doing something like this, the issues with wood are various.

First, it is easier to handle 24" x 32" (61 x 81 cm) blocks for a person my size, still fortunately enough taller than wider, but not very tall at all. The blocks have to be drawn on, stained with walnut ink on both sides, sanded smooth, and cut with a jig-saw. That's a lot of block twirling.

Second, the size lends itself nicely to printing on 22" x 30" (56 x 76 cm) paper, which is standard size for Western printmaking papers. I have to either trim each block a bit, or I believe this project I will leave a border to cut a registration mark in order to facilitate paper placement on each block.

Third reason for not going larger is shipping cost, which is enough already for blocks these size but almost doubles the price of wood when shipping larger pieces and they always come with dented corners anyway. Every penny counts!

Why six blocks? I really will only need five for the project but there are always replacement blocks to be cut and the potential of my jig-saw going horribly wild. Besides, cherry makes me feel good and it will drive the evil flu-spirits away, I'm sure.

I will have photos soon enough. Meantime, everyone might want to check the detailed instructions for the project, in PDF format. Just click on instructions from the main page:

And if you get bored, viewing the previous projects is always fun and brings many good memories to mind. Links at the bottom of that page.
I'm now going to work on my two New Year resolutions: daily long walk and daily short nap.


  1. you are such a glutton for punishment, but we appreciate you!

  2. I can't wait to get my hands on my little piece, getting a feel of the shape and direction... Thanks again!

  3. I am looking forward to receiving my block -- ever impressed with your grand scope of this project, Brava!

  4. I'm sure the cherry blocks will drive away the evil flu. ;-]

  5. Maria - Thanks for organizing this!

  6. Thanks so much for this wonderful oppurtunity to participate in this project. Maria you are wonder woman with all you do and I am excited to be a part of it, even just this one (depending on the next year).